During the laser welding process of high-strength steels, different defects, such as a partial weld penetration, spatters, and blow-through holes could be present. In order to detect the presence of defects and achieve a quality control, acoustic monitoring based on microphones is applied to the welding process. As an effective sensor to monitor the laser welding process, however, the microphone is greatly limited by intensive noise existing in the complex industrial environment. In this paper, in order to acquire a clean acoustic signal from the laser welding process, two noise reduction methods are proposed: one is the spectral subtraction method based on one microphone and the other one is the beamforming based on a microphone array. By applying these two noise reduction methods, the quality of the acoustic signal is enhanced, and the acoustic signatures are extracted both in the time domain and frequency domain. The analysis results show that the extracted acoustic signatures can well indicate the different weld penetration states and they can also be used to study the internal mechanisms of the laser-material interaction.

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